Oerlikon Metco, a maker of industrial coating machines in Westbury,...

Oerlikon Metco, a maker of industrial coating machines in Westbury, will be responsible for a cleanup of contamination on the site, which it bought in 2014. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

An environmental contractor is starting work to identify the extent of contamination in the soil and water at a state Superfund site in Westbury, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Samples of soil, surface water and groundwater from the site, 1101 Prospect Ave., will be studied to analyze the problem. Work is expected to begin later this month, state officials said.

Global manufacturer Oerlikon Metco, a maker of industrial coating machines, owns and operates the site. The company bought the property in 2014 and is responsible for the cleanup, according to the DEC.

Oerlikon Metco didn't respond to requests for comment.

The site historically has been involved in the manufacture of metallic and ceramic powders for use in the thermal spray-coating industry, as well as the manufacture of thermal spray guns and parts, according to the DEC. The agency said “past uses have led to site contamination.”

Axluf Corp. originally owned the building. Metalizing Engineering Co., later known as Metco, was part of that corporation. Perkin-Elmer Corp. bought Metco in 1971 and continued to operate on the site.

The Sulzer Corp. bought Metco in 1994 and combined the companies into Sulzer Metco Inc. The DEC refers to the Superfund location as the Sulzer Metco Inc. site.

The Prospect Avenue property became a state Superfund site in December 2022 after “elevated concentrations” of tetrachloroethene, a chemical used for dry-cleaning fabrics and metal degreasing operations, were found in soil beneath the building, according to a report by Massachusetts-based firm Haley & Aldrich. Oerlikon hired the environmental contractor to carry out the remedial work.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified tetrachloroethene — also known as tetrachloroethylene or perchloroethylene — as likely to be carcinogenic to humans.

An agreement under the state's Brownfield Cleanup Program, which encourages private sector cleanups of contaminated properties, was in place with Oerlikon Metco from 2014 until 2022.

In 2022, the state listed the site as a Class 2 state Superfund site — meaning a location that represents a significant threat to public health or the environment.

Past investigation found chlorinated solvents and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, existed at the site, according to state officials. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has dubbed those substances “forever chemicals” because they don't break down easily over time. They have been linked to increases in cholesterol levels, changes in liver enzymes and pregnancy-induced hypertension, among other illnesses, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

It’s unclear how long the Westbury study will take and when the results will be available, but the DEC said the information collected will be summarized in a report before Oerlikon will develop a proposal for cleaning up the contamination.

The site is in the Town of North Hempstead and Supervisor Jennifer DeSena in a statement said officials are “anxious to see progress.” 

An environmental contractor is starting work to identify the extent of contamination in the soil and water at a state Superfund site in Westbury, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Samples of soil, surface water and groundwater from the site, 1101 Prospect Ave., will be studied to analyze the problem. Work is expected to begin later this month, state officials said.

Global manufacturer Oerlikon Metco, a maker of industrial coating machines, owns and operates the site. The company bought the property in 2014 and is responsible for the cleanup, according to the DEC.

Oerlikon Metco didn't respond to requests for comment.

The site historically has been involved in the manufacture of metallic and ceramic powders for use in the thermal spray-coating industry, as well as the manufacture of thermal spray guns and parts, according to the DEC. The agency said “past uses have led to site contamination.”

Axluf Corp. originally owned the building. Metalizing Engineering Co., later known as Metco, was part of that corporation. Perkin-Elmer Corp. bought Metco in 1971 and continued to operate on the site.

The Sulzer Corp. bought Metco in 1994 and combined the companies into Sulzer Metco Inc. The DEC refers to the Superfund location as the Sulzer Metco Inc. site.

The Prospect Avenue property became a state Superfund site in December 2022 after “elevated concentrations” of tetrachloroethene, a chemical used for dry-cleaning fabrics and metal degreasing operations, were found in soil beneath the building, according to a report by Massachusetts-based firm Haley & Aldrich. Oerlikon hired the environmental contractor to carry out the remedial work.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified tetrachloroethene — also known as tetrachloroethylene or perchloroethylene — as likely to be carcinogenic to humans.

An agreement under the state's Brownfield Cleanup Program, which encourages private sector cleanups of contaminated properties, was in place with Oerlikon Metco from 2014 until 2022.

In 2022, the state listed the site as a Class 2 state Superfund site — meaning a location that represents a significant threat to public health or the environment.

Past investigation found chlorinated solvents and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, existed at the site, according to state officials. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has dubbed those substances “forever chemicals” because they don't break down easily over time. They have been linked to increases in cholesterol levels, changes in liver enzymes and pregnancy-induced hypertension, among other illnesses, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

It’s unclear how long the Westbury study will take and when the results will be available, but the DEC said the information collected will be summarized in a report before Oerlikon will develop a proposal for cleaning up the contamination.

The site is in the Town of North Hempstead and Supervisor Jennifer DeSena in a statement said officials are “anxious to see progress.” 

USMMA sexual assaults … Man dies in Baldwin fire … What's up on LI Credit: Newsday

Shortage of HS refs ... USMMA sexual assaults ... Dementia spikes among WTC first responders ... 

USMMA sexual assaults … Man dies in Baldwin fire … What's up on LI Credit: Newsday

Shortage of HS refs ... USMMA sexual assaults ... Dementia spikes among WTC first responders ... 

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME